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Friday, November 12, 2021

My Week -- Lots of Carrots

this year's carrot harvest

The tree is still on our roof. That says it all, right?

We worked hard on Friday, trying to get some of the tree mess cleaned up, having a rather impromptu Lumber Jill contest. Surprisingly, my two daughters are pretty good with an ax. I'm better with a saw. The three of us were able to cut part of the tree into fireplace lengths using a hack saw, bow saw and an ax while my husband worked up on the roof cutting off what he could. We hope to have the tree removed on Saturday, weather permitting. And yes, there appears to be damage under the tree, which we can't completely assess until the tree is off the roof.

I harvested all of the carrots this week (well, all but 2 carrots left in place to generate seeds next summer). These are carrots that I grew in 2 large pots, so not a whole lot of space. In total, my harvest was about 7 or 8 lbs. The square footage of the surface of these 2 pot combined is about 5 sq. feet -- just sayin' as a guide to know how much carrot harvest we can get from such a small area. Next spring, I hope to plant carrots in 2 large troughs, which would triple my harvest. The big advantage to growing carrots in pots this past year was that we had zero wireworm damage. 

After pulling the carrots, I cut off the green tops to wash for use in cooking and left the whole carrots to dry out (unwashed) overnight. The next day I sorted the carrots by size. I was able to use even those teeny tiny carrots that might otherwise be thrown out. Some of them were really itty bitty. However, I used them in a large pot of vegetable soup for lunch on Tuesday. I also set aside some young carrots for Thanksgiving dinner. The rest of the carrots are bagged up and in the fridge to be used as needed over the next month.

Also on Tuesday, I harvested our first batch of indoor-grown radishes to use in dinner. I am so pleased at how these radishes are doing. The roots are large and free of bug damage, while the leaves are tender enough for salads.

I peeled, cubed and oven-roasted one of our small pumpkins, as it was beginning to feel a bit soft. I set aside a handful of the seeds to dry to use for next year's pumpkin patch and washed and froze the rest of the seeds to roast with those from other pumpkins later this fall (when we have more than just a handful).

We had a tornado warning in a neighboring county this week. How crazy is that? I guess tornados are not completely unheard of in the Puget Sound region. My brother lives in the county where the warning was issued. He said it was very, very dark for most of the day, but that they never saw anything resembling a tornado. In my own county, it was extremely windy with strong gusts. So, I quickly moved all of our patio furniture into the garage. Our power never flickered, but my brother said theirs did.

The weather has fluctuated between mild and pleasant, with sun here and there, and stormy and cold with hail pelting the yard. On the mild days I've taken walks through the neighborhood. Feeling in a holiday mood, for one walk, I made myself a peppermint mocha (using peppermint oil, cocoa powder and sweetening in my coffee) to sip as I toured the neighborhood. I did spy one holiday-themed wreath on a neighbor's door. Something interesting -- some of my neighbors spring-flowering shrubs are flowering right now. I checked out my own yard and found that my rosemary bush has put on new growth, too. This is exciting, as I can take another small harvest from my rosemary for use later this winter. 

I spent some time in the pantry organizing and refilling containers. I like to do this a few times per year. I always find surprises and learn what we need to use soon and which items we may run out. We have lots of canned tomato products, canned tuna, canned green beans, flour, rice, sugar, oil, oats, peanut butter, and raisins. We are just now transitioning to using more of the pantry staples as our garden slows down considerably. There are still Brussel sprouts, kale, turnips, beets, and Swiss chard in the outdoor garden, with, as I mentioned, radishes in the indoor garden. I'll be starting some indoor spinach under lights this weekend to add to our winter veggies. Up to now, I have been using one light fixture for growing indoors. I just recently ordered my birthday, Christmas, birthday gift (I often tell my husband not to get me anything so I can later order something I need or want) of another grow light set-up. I'll be able to not only expand what we grow for the table in winter, but also expand the seed starting in spring for our expanded garden.

I didn't make any grocery pick-ups this week, but I am putting an order together to get over the weekend or early next week. This order will have the remaining items we need for our Thanksgiving dinner.

I spent some time on Thursday getting caught up on bills and going over the budget for the winter season. I'm sure you've heard this but heating prices are expected to increase for most of us. So far, it looks like electricity will see the lowest percentage of increase (averaging about a 6% increase over last year), while the biggest increase will come on propane (about 54% increase over last year). The increase on the cost of heating oil and natural gas fall somewhere in between, at 43% and 30%, respectively. So, I'm trying to maintain a low indoor temperature for this month in order to "bank" some extra in the budget to cover more expensive colder months. I also have our 2 electric space heaters available to use to heat one or two rooms that we might all be sharing during the day or evening when I keep the rest of the house cool. This would also be a good time to get the draft snakes out and put them at the base of doors that we seldom use. Have you thought much about how you might keep your own heating bills from skyrocketing too much this winter?

And now here we are, back to Friday again. This past week flew past, perhaps because we were dealing with this tree mess. I hope you had a great week. What were the highlights for you?

Cheap & Cheerful Meals in this post, here.


  1. Oh, no, the tree still on the roof with damage? Is it doing some damage inside the house?

    And here I'm giving myself anxiety over not being able to remove leaves from our lawn. I have been working on it all week but more keeps blowing off from trees or blowing from neighbors' yards. I wanted to try yet again today because tonight and over the weekend we'll get snow but it's raining right now. Not sure why I worry and become anxious about it because IT'S NOT WORTH IT. Time to deal with my anxiety because I know it does me no good to worry about something I can do nothing about!

    I hope someone is able to help you out soon!

    1. Hi Alice,
      probably the one blessing is there is no damage inside the house itself, just the attic space. I'll be glad to get this tree mess done. You know, I try and find the silver lining. My mom's attitude was "there's no great loss without some small gain." So I'm looking at the positives -- more firewood, more sun for the garden, and if a tree had to fall, it could've been much worse.

      You're right, so many of these things just are not worth the anxiety. Once you do get snow for the winter, will you have a blanket of snow for the season, or will the snow fall, then thaw, and fall again? I was just thinking that having a blanket of snow for a few months would make the yard look at least uniformly white. If it does snow this weekend, take some time to enjoy watching it fall.

      Have a great weekend, Alice!

    2. Alice didn't mention that we had an unusually mild autumn and the leaves didn't change color until much later this season. Suddenly it turned chilly and rainy and we have a mixture of trees with leaves still on them or newly fallen leaves. There just hasn't been time to deal with the leaves this year due to the crowding of the weather events. You are far from alone, Alice! We're in the same boat.

      My highlight was my daughter's birthday party with her friends tonight. Grateful that we can have an indoor party this year since today's weather is miserable.

    3. I used to joke when we couldn't get the leaves cleaned up that they would magically disappeared when it snowed. Unfortunately, that never seemed to happen. :)

    4. Yes, sometimes you can only do what you can do. They will be there in the spring to deal with.

    5. Hi Kris,
      Happy birthday to your daughter! I do remember this time last year, when you were making plans for an outdoor birthday gathering for her. I'm glad you all could be indoors this year.

      We get a similar sort of weather crowding with regards to leaves. The falling of leaves coincides with the November deluge of rainfall. The leaf blower doesn't work on leaves glued to the ground by rain, and raking is a pain with rain-soaked laves. It's rainy and windy again this weekend. However, Saturday morning was dry enough for a tree guy to come and get the tree off the roof. We've got a hole in the roof that now needs patching. My husband thinks he got the hole temporarily covered at least. We'll check the attic this morning and see if the temporary patch is working.

      Have a good rest of your weekend, Kris!

    6. Live and Learn,
      that was my thinking -- that the leaves would just magically disappear with a snowfall. At least it would appear that way, until the snow melted.

    7. Lili, you are not having a swift resolution to your problem, are you? Hopefully the temporary patch will at least prevent further problems.

      We typically have a bit more of a stretch of time between leaves falling and rain/snow, but not this year! My daughter was gung ho to help rake leaves Saturday but the weather wasn't cooperative. The snow does temporarily hide them!


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